B+O Architecten, commissioned by the Maatschappij van Weldadigheid, made a design for the renovation of the historic seed barn in Frederiksoord. The national monument dates from 1941 and now serves as an office and studio space for people with mental or physical disabilities.
Starting point for the renovation was to retain or restore the historic characteristics of the barn as much as possible. A challenge, because the walls and the roof were made mostly of glass.
The seed barn was used for up to ten years as a potato warehouse, where farmers would let their potatoes sprout. After the barn lost this function, it was merely storage space. A shame, owner Maatschappij van Weldadigheid thought, because the seed barn has historic value and is a rarity in the Netherlands. That is why architect Pieter Brink was requested to make a design for the new function of the barn.
architect: Pieter Brink / client: Maatschappij van Weldadigheid / completion: 2012
Because the large amount of glass would lead to the space heating up too much, Brink designed a ‘barn-in-barn construction’. As a result, new glass walls were installed in the barn, creating a conditioned cavity on both sides. The cavity on the right side is used as a corridor. In the middle part you will find the office and the workshop. Here, the climate is controllable and the users do not notice the weather very much. The roof has again been covered with the original materials, namely roofing felt. Solar panels almost indistinguishable from the black roofing have been installed on the south side of the roof.
The unique characteristics of the barn made it a challenge to maintain the atmosphere of the interior. The old character can quickly be overshadowed by the newly added elements. To prevent this, original materials were used in the renovation, namely wood and glass. In order to create a nice contrast between the dark brown, weathered wood of the original barn, white lacquered larch wood was used. In addition, the interior walls of the space were provided with wooden frames and glass. This way, a subtle balance was created between old and new.